UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has identified the main reason the party lost the December general election: “the leadership” of his hard-left predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.In an interview with the Financial Times, Sir Keir said he visited more than 40 constituencies during the campaign, and “number one” topic of discussion was “the leadership of Labour party”.
The new opposition party leader has previously been careful not to criticise Mr Corbyn, having served in his shadow cabinet for more than three years. But Sir Keir’s comments are the latest sign that he is set to take Labour in a different direction, after sacking about a dozen prominent “Corbynistas” from the party’s frontbench and promoting figures from the “soft left” to his shadow cabinet. Top stories by FT:
- Coronavirus digest The UK will begin gradually lifting its lockdown from Monday under a two-pronged approach that will loosen some measures while tightening others, including border controls. The NHS will review risks to black and minority ethnic staff as Britain’s death toll passed 30,000.Donald Trump said the White House task force will continue “indefinitely”, reversing course from a day earlier. The US is exploring economic penalties against China, where a WHO mission hopes to investigate Covid-19’s origins.Japan is set to approve the use antiviral remdesivir on Thursday.EU output is forecast to drop 7.4 per cent this year, the worst recession in the bloc’s history. Investors fear Italy is heading for “junk” borrower status.Vladimir Putin agreed to begin easing Russia’s lockdown as his approval ratings fell to the lowest level in two decades. Poland postponed a controversial presidential vote on Sunday.
- In the news Exclusive: ECB to resist German court Four European Central Bank council members told the FT on Wednesday that the central bank would resist pressure from Germany’s constitutional court to justify massive government bond purchases. Separately, Brussels will on Thursday detail plans for a new pan-European money laundering authority.
- US Treasury eyes longer-term debt The US Treasury set out plans on Wednesday to significantly increase the proportion of borrowing through three, 10 and 30-year bonds to fund the government’s $3tn-plus coronavirus stimulus.
- UK universities braced for reform While one vice-chancellor called the government’s offer of £2.6bn to stabilise cash flows the “bare minimum”, higher education institutions are facing a “restructuring regime” that could target poor courses, excessive debt and overinflated salaries.
- Uber stalls The ride-sharing giant will cut 3,700 jobs, about 14 per cent of its corporate workforce, following the example of rival Lyft, which last week announced job cuts of 17 per cent and beat forecasts on Wednesday. Peloton is proving Covid-proof, as lockdowns boost home exercise.
- Venezuela plot A former US soldier captive in Venezuela said in a statement broadcast on national television that his team planned to seize an airport in Caracas and fly president Nicolás Maduro to the US. Top stories by FT
- Investors see silver Investors are betting on a rally in silver after the gap between gold and the industrial metal soared to its widest level in more than three centuries. US rental housing, previously seen as a safe bet by both investors and landlords, is facing a wave of rental delinquencies.
- Huawei sparks US-UK review A White House review could see US spy planes and intelligence officials pulled out from UK if Huawei develops Britain’s 5G network. The US is also considering a new rule allowing American companies and Huawei to set 5G standards together. (Telegraph, Reuters)Cocaine kings suffer corona disruption The pandemic has hit cocaine, a UN report has found, as global lockdowns bring legal trade, which traffickers rely on “camouflage” their activities, to a standstill. Top stories by FT
- End of a dynasty Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of the Samsung group, said he has no plans to pass management to his children, signalling the end of three generations of family control. Meanwhile, South Korea’s spy chief doubts that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had heart surgery.
- Lee Jae-yong: ‘I give my word here today that from now on, there will be no more controversy regarding succession’ © AP
The day ahead BoE meets The Bank of England meets on Thursday with no further rate cuts expected, but quantitative easing is another matter. Here are four things to watch.
- Andrew Bailey, the BoE governor, has signalled that the OBR’s scenario of a 35% fall in GDP is plausible © FT montage; AFP/Getty/Efe/Epa/Shutterstock
US jobless claims Initial weekly jobless figures out on Thursday are expected to be around 3m, down from 3.8m the week prior. The release comes ahead of the monthly unemployment rate on Friday, which analysts estimate will hit 16.3 per cent. Top stories by FT
- Earnings diary Telecoms group BT and Viacom CBS report on Thursday, with the focus on advertising revenues. Air France-KLM and AB InBev results will probably disappoint after shares plummeted in the first quarter.
- New York has become the coronavirus epicentre. Join our correspondent Joshua Chaffin on May 7 at 8pm BST (3pm EST) for a live Q&A on Instagram, where he’ll discuss the politics of the state’s pandemic response. What else we’re reading Covid-19’s medical mysteries When coronavirus appeared in China last December, it appeared to be an aggressive respiratory infection. Less than five months later, Covid-19 is throwing up a fiendish variety of symptoms from blood clots to strokes and digestive problems that are confounding the scientific community.
- “Every day we’re learning of new tricks that the virus plays,” says Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London
Coronavirus will change Paris forever “There is hardly a place on earth less suited to the age of social distancing,” writes Simon Kuper. While France’s lockdown ends on Monday, pre-coronavirus Paris won’t return soon. A premature US reopening is playing Russian roulette with workers, Edward Luce warns. (FT)Can we tackle both climate change and Covid-19? Two experts debate whether the push for lower emissions can survive the pandemic, or whether green policies will compound the economic stress.
- The question is not whether we can address the Covid-19 crisis and climate change at the same time, but rather whether we can afford not to do so.
- Can companies still afford to care about sustainability? Join Moral Money’s Gillian Tett and Billy Nauman and management editor Andrew Hill for a live Q&A throughout Thursday, May 7. The WHO can be reformed The global health body is compromised by a lack of independence, writes Jennifer Prah Ruger, but it should be fixed rather than scrapped. China’s recent funding pledge is the latest example of bargain shopping for influence.
- Argentina loses taste for cash It’s one of the world’s toughest business environments for investors, yet some of the biggest names in technology have placed bets on a Buenos Aires fintech start-up reporting explosive growth as consumers belatedly take up debit cards.
- Lockdown curriculum: money Lucy Warwick-Ching offers some ideas for teaching your young ones about personal finance in what could be the perfect opportunity to impart life skills. The pandemic is also testing our maths skills — how do yours hold up?
- Flying empty Just half a dozen passengers were on a recent flight from New York to New Mexico. Why wasn’t it cancelled? London Gatwick is under a cloud of carrier exits. Here are 14 questions about the future of travel.
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